The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) recognises the stated rights as the 'inalienable rights of all the members of the human family' which are the 'foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world'. This approach is given legal significance by the provisions of the human rights treaties.
- The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Article 17 protects the individual from unlawful interference with one’s privacy, family, home and correspondence. Article 23 notes the status of the family as ‘the natural and fundamental group unit of society’ and emphasises that it should be protected by the state.
- The International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) Article 4 recognises that protection and assistance should be accorded to the family unit in the ‘widest possible’ manner.
- The right to respect for private and family life is outlined in Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and is limited in applicability by Article 8(2) which outlines situations in which the right may be curbed by the public authorities. The exercise of the right shall only be limited where lawful and necessary in a democratic society, in cases of national security, public safety, economic well-being of the country, prevention of disorder or crime, protection of health, morals, and the rights and freedoms of others.
DISCUSSION PAPER: THE LEGAL OBLIGATION TO RECORD CIVILIAN CASUALTIES OF ARMED CONFLICT, p. 17